Satan Tempts Jesus in the Dessert
Read Mark 1:12-13
Jesus left the crowds and went into the desert were he was tempted by Satan. Temptation is bad for us only when we give in. We should not hate or resent times of inner testing, because through them God can strengthen our character and teach us a valuable lessons. When you face Satan and most deal with his temptations and the turmoil he brings, remember Jesus. He used God’s Word against Satan and won. You can do the same.
Satan is an angel who rebelled against God. He is real not symbolic, and is constantly working against God and those who obey him. Satan tempted Eve in the garden and persuaded her to sin, he tempted Jesus in the desert and did not persuade him to fall. To be tempted is not a sin. Tempting others or giving in to temptation is sin.
To identify fully with human beings, Jesus had to endure Satan’s temptations. Although Jesus is God. he is also man. And as fully human, he was not exempt from Satan’s attacks. Because Jesus faced temptations and overcame them, he can assist us in two important ways: (1) as an example of how to face temptation without sinning, and (2) as a helper who knows just what we need because he went through the same experience.
It seems a couple of prowlers broke into a department store in a large city…. Instead of stealing anything, they changed the cost of everything. Price tags were swapped. For four solid hours no one noticed that all the values had been swapped.
Hard to believe? It shouldn’t be – we see the same thing happening every day. We are deluged by a distorted value system. We see the most valuable things in our lives peddled for pennies and we see the cheapest smut go for millions.
Why do we do what we do? Why do we take blatantly black-and-white and paint it gray? Why are priceless mores trashed while senseless standards are obeyed? What causes us to elevate the body and degrade the soul? What causes us to pamper the skin while we pollute the heart?
Our values are messed up. Someone broke into the store and exchanged all the price tags. Thrills are going for top dollar and the value of human beings is at an all time low….
And you’ve seen the results of this. Our system goes haywire. We feel useless and worthless. We freak out. We play games. We create false value systems. We say that you are valuable if you can produce….
This is man’s value system. It is not God’s….
In God’s book man is heading somewhere. He has an amazing destiny. We are being prepared to walk down the church aisle and become the bride of Jesus. We are going to live with him. Share the throne with him. Reign with him. We count. We are valuable. And what’s more, our worth is built in! Our value is inborn.
(From No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado)
Make a list of things the world values (money, good looks, nice cars.) When you’ve completed your list, ask yourself, “Which of these do I value? Which does God value? How can I spend my time and money better to reflect what God values?”
The Bible says that we must:
“Turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:2) We have discussed repentance but now we will discuss faith in Jesus as our Lord.
About 2000 years ago an angel appeared to Joseph and told him that the virgin Mary would give birth to a baby. The angel said to him:
“You are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21).
The angel’s message teaches us that Mary’s baby was named Jesus which means “Savior”, because he saves us from our
The Bible also says:
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Ephesians 1:7)
Jesus shed his blood when he died on the cross in order to save us and obtain the forgiveness for us.
“Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)
The Bible says: “Salvation is found in no one else (outside of Jesus) for there is no name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
To believe in Jesus means to have faith in him. It is to put all of your trust in him and Only in Him. So then salvation, that is the forgiveness of our sins, is received y believing; in Jesus Christ alone.
The Bible says: “You (God) will… hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19).
Since this is true, how many of your sins have been forgiven?of them.
Think about this wonderful truth: “Jesus forgives all the sins of the one who believes in Him and receives him into their life.
Think about this wonderful truth: “Jesus forgives all the sins of the one who believes in Him and receives him into their life.
You should feel Peace and joy because of the truth stated.
Recently, I read a sociological study that has great significance for those of us who are trying to respond to champions of the worldly value system. In this particular study fifty people over the age of ninety-five were asked one question: “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?”…
Three answers constantly re-emerged and dominated the results of that study….
If I had it to do over again, I would reflect more.
If I had it to do over again, I would risk more.
If I had it to do over again, I would do more things that would live on after I am dead.
I think that these elderly people have a good handle on what life is all about. I believe that their perspective gives better direction on how to live life with joy and satisfaction than we can gain from listening to the new kids on the block…. I am convinced that people who want to have fun in life would do well to consider the observations of those whom time has made wise.
(From Who Switched the Price Tags? by Tony Campolo)
God uses people other than priests and pastors. Sometimes the most effective workers God uses are just ordinary people. Don’t let your lack of theological training or position stop you from serving God in your work. Become an active participant in church. Talk about Christ with your neighbors, co-workers, family members, and friends. Be a witness right where you are.
Three relationship-building periods of a small-group meeting:
1. Before the meeting begins:
You should have all preliminary details covered so you and the leadership team can greet members as they arrive.
2. During the meeting:
Each person brings three social needs to the group.
a. Need for belonging. To feel we belong, we need to feel connected to a family that holds Jesus Christ central.
The need for
b. Need for significance. When the leader identifies a participant will acquire a feeling of significance.
The need for
c. Need for acceptance. Before participants attend a group, they wonder if the other members will accept them. To develop that acceptance, leaders should refrain from criticism, which will lead to lack of trust. Be positive and build each other up.
The need for
3. After the meeting
Leaders should be willing to visit with members who do not feel comfortable bringing up a sensitive need in the open group. This is a good time for building relationships. In addition, three other opportunities exist: (a) calling members especially those with known needs; (b) establishing prayer partners; (c) arranging social activities.
Good interpersonal communication requires:
Aview of people ass God’s creatures;
A commitment to bein relationships.
Courage and willingness to take
Theand use of certain communication skills.
1. Cliche conversation.
Discussing “safe” public information takes place during the first few minutes of a meeting. Topics include the weather, family and friends, and current affairs.
2. Sharing information and facts.
People talk generally about events, ideas, and facts, but not about themselves, their commitments, and their beliefs about Scripture.
3. Sharing ideas and opinions.
This deeper level of communication involves a willingness to talk about personal ideas and opinions. There is some risk-taking at this level.
4. Sharing feelings.
People are willing to risk telling group members what they feel, not just what they think. Members are less protective and more open.
5. Peak communication.
The deepest level of communication involves openness, transparency, and self disclosure. It is a risky and rare but powerful level of communication. Think of a close relationship you have; what you most remember is probably peak communication.
Much of anyis built through the proper use of
Communication is bothand, and involves conveying , , , , , , and.
A strong and cohesive small group will have deepening levels of communication among its members.
Write a brief interchange between two people for each of the 5 levels:
On occasion, a group member may be in tears and express a deep need (peak communication). Put your arm around the person, have the group pray for him or her, then return to the study. After the meeting spend more time together.
12 ways to use communication skills.
Physically and emotionally focus on the person who is talking; convey your interest and intention to listen. Face the person to whom you are listening, lean forward if you’re sitting, relax and maintain good eye contact. Use brief phrases like yes, really? and how interesting! to show the speaker you are attentive. Listening is a real art, and is just as important to effective communication as speaking.
2. Seeking information and opinions.
Use questions with members who have not spoken recently, and those who have good ideas or opinions. The use of first names is important. Examples: “Mary, what do you thing about the second question?” “Joe, I’d be interested in your opinion on this subject.”
Misunderstanding can arise when we assume we understand a speakers meaning. When the meaning is unclear, ask a question for clarification. Examples: “I’m not sure what you meant. Could you please restate that?” “Could you repeat that and say a little more about what you mean?” Clarification is complimentary, as it shows a speaker you are listening and attentive.
A listener restating a speaker’s thought or idea in his own words demonstrates careful listening and concern. Examples: “This is what I heard you saying… Is that it?” “Mark, your central concern…” “David, your reactions seem to be…”
This involves asking people to give reasons for what they have said, and should be done in a positive, non-argumentative way. Justifying helps a group stay on a subject. Examples: “Where do you find that in the passage we’re studying?” “Why do you say that?” “What is the connection between what we were discussing and your comment?”
When a group member continues to address all his questions and comments to the leader rather than to the group, use re-directing. Using names, encourage members to talk with each other. If Mary continues to focus on the leader, the leader might respond to her question, “Tom what do you think about Mary’s last question?” “How would you answer that Tom?” This is particularly effective in involving new members in the discussion.
This involves adding to or expanding a line of thought in a discussion. After an answer is given, or a comment made, the leader might ask, “Does any one have anything to add to what has been said?” or “Is there anything else someone would like to comment on at this point.”
At various points in a group discussion, it is helpful to briefly summarize and highlight what has been previously said. This technique works effectively when a group gets bogged down, since it outlines where the discussion has been and should be going. The leader should summarize carefully, not omitting group members names and ideas.
It is always important to recognize and affirm the person who is talking. To one you might say, “Thank you for your comment.” To another you might add, “That’s an interesting points.” Never tell a person he is wrong. Simply redirect the question to others: “What do the rest of you think?” Even when a comment seems unimportant, the speaker is important.
10. Being concrete and personal.
Use “I” messages instead of “you” messages. Communication improve when members take responsibility for their own ideas and feelings, using the personal pronoun “I.” To say “I feel” or “I think” is much more direct and helpful then “some people think” or “Some believe.”
11. Being personally implicated.
When a discussion seems too general, vague or abstract, a “personal implication question” helps keep the conversation more direct and specific. Examples: “What is your opinion about that?” “How would what you are talking about affect you personally? “Have you ever struggled with this issue yourself?” “Sometimes we are abstract when discussing Scripture; how does it affect you day to day?” “How does this scripture affect my daily life.
12. Handling talkative and silent members.
Excessively talkative members can be handled through the proper use of group dynamics, non-verbal communication, and the seating arrangement. Eye contact is important: the leader should break eye contact with the talkative person (sit beside him, not across from him), and maintain consistent eye contact with a silent member (sit opposite him). When the talkative member pauses in the middle of a lengthy speech, the leader should break in and say, “I’d like to hear from someone who has not spoken yet.” The leader might direct a question to a silent member. “Jim, what do you think is meant in verse 2?” Problems can cause people to talk too much, so try to visit with this person after the study. Ask him to observe the next two Bible studies and determine who is contributing and who is not.
Recognize nonverbal communication skills. Differentiate among effective and ineffective nonverbal skills.
Actions are at least as important as words in communicating. The way a person stands or sits, uses his arms and legs, makes or does not make eye contact can communicate not only the message, every action should be relaxed , open, responsive and attentive. Arms should be relaxed, legs crossed toward the listener, eyes and face showing pleasant expression, and attention keen. Any deviation-legs crossed away from the listener, a frown or grimace, a bored or disinterested look-will undermine even the most positive verbal message.
The difference between effective and ineffective communication is often articulation. Proper articulation requires good vocal inflection, a clear and understandable rate of speech, a pleasant voice tone, and crisp enunciation.
Although a speaker can overcome a negative appearance to effectively communicate an attractive appearance greatly enhances communication. Good posture, whether the speaker is seated or standing, appropriate, neat clothing, and control of distracting mannerisms all combine to provide a positive appearance.
Although the audience may not be aware of them, effective communication can be enhanced or diminished by many factors. When the speaker is as physically close as possible to the listeners, when he or she responds quickly to questions and shifts in audience mood, communication effectiveness is enhanced.
The appointments or setting of a small-group meeting greatly effect nonverbal communications. The size of the room and furnishings should always appropriate for the small group. Furniture and decorations should enhance communication, not serve as a distraction or barrier (for example, a large center piece on a coffee table could inhibit conversation). All participants should sit on the same level, not some on chairs and sofas and others on the floor. Room size should be comfortable, neither cramped nor cavernous. When the room is too large for the audience, people should be moved to its front and middle. In general, a living room or family room setting encourages informal, open communication in a small group better than a classroom setting.
Share about a healthy group in which you had been a member if any.
What made this group healthy?
Did you respect the structure (stopping and starting on time, prayer, worship, and Bible study) in the group?
Did you feel like you helped to make decisions in the group? Did you feel like it was your group?
Did you grow spiritually as a result of the Bible discussion?
Was there a sense of belonging and caring for each other?
Did you feel any of your opinions and contributions were appreciated?
Share about membership in a leader-centered group and its problems:
How did you feel about participating in a leader-centered group?
Was there an opportunity to contribute to the discussion?
Did you feel any ownership in the group?
Did you want to continue with the group?
Did you feel “cared for”?
Describe what takes place in an unhealthy group?
Where you pleased with the level of Bible Study that took place?
Was there a strong bonding between the members of the group?
Was there structure that allowed for prayer, sharing, Bible study, and worship?
Were there people who seemed to dominate the conversation and others who never seemed to join in the discussion?
Did the group start and stop on time?
Learn how to DRAW people into a discussion with questions
Draft a plan. A good discussion plan is to use questions to draw people from the general to the specific.
Reach for both information and opinions. “What does the passage say?” “What do you think about that”
Avoid questions that produce yes or no responses.
Wait. As the leader, don’t rush in to answer. Give participants time to answer.
Inspire and encourage. Ask questions first of the group then of the individual. Create an environment where success is easy.
Name. Call members by name when asking questions.
Give verbal hugs, affirm people. As a leader, you should model positive behavior and affirmation. If you are positive, your group will most likely be positive.
One thought at a time. Don’t ask overly general questions. Don’t ask more than one question at a time.
Use a variety of Questions. Three types of questions are knowledge, understanding, and application:
What does it say?
What does it mean?
How does it apply to you?
Transition. Relate information from lesson to lesson. Do not expect people to make giant steps. Build a bridge for understanding.
Recognize the difference in answering questions positively or negatively.
Content. Verify that what you think you have just said is what the person wanted to hear. Ask, “Is that what you wanted to know?”
Look. Look at nonverbal information. Observe nonverbal communication-i.e., eye contact, posture, mannerism, gesturing, and distancing (how close or far away people stand or sit).
Answer. Answer questions when you can, but if you are unable to answer say, “I don’t know, but I will find out.”
Repeat. Repeat the question. This is a compliment to the person asking the question. It implies that you are interested and are listening.
Identify. Identify what is being asked-both the content and the intent. Listen not only to words but to the thought, depth of feeling, personal meaning, even the meaning that is below the conscious intent of the speaker.
Tact. Use tact in answering questions. Do not make someone feel stupid for asking a question. If you do, that person will probably not speak again and will likely leave the group.
Yield. Do not be the expert. Yield to the group, providing an opportunity, for the experience of others in the group to be shared. One good response is “Does anyone else in the group want to respond to this question?”
Define the need for sharing questions
A steady diet of superficial conversation can literally strangle the soul. We have been created to relate with God and our fellow man. We long to know and be known at deep personal levels, though we fear that involvement. Simply sitting with a small group of people does not guarantee building personal relationships at a level which allows us to affirm each other. Groups need a structure that will facilitate personal sharing.
“Sharing questions” are those that can be used to prompt in depth conversations. They are simple one-or two-sentence questions, usually open-ended, which permit and encourage people to talk about themselves. There are no “right” or “Wrong” answers; rather people are encouraged to talk about their past experiences, feelings, hopes for the future, fears and anxieties, their pilgrimage of faith, day-to-day situations, likes and dislikes, sorrows and joys.
Our goal is not to share ideas and concepts, but to share ourselves. This self-disclosure results in our being known, and makes it possible for us to receive affirmation and love. The risk is, if we let people know us, they may not like us. Refusing the risk, however, means refusing to receive the love which we all need so desperately. Sharing questions should encourage, but not force people to share beyond their own willingness.
Explain the following three types of sharing questions.
As your group develops, sharing questions can play an important role in moving the group from one stage to another. While you are getting to know each other, the personal sharing question (How many children do you have? What are their names and ages?) keeps the group in “chiche conversations,” the beginning stage of development. Of the four components of small-group life-nurture, worship, community, and worship-the majority of group time is spent in developing relationships.
Spiritual questions help a group begin to share ideas, opinions, and feelings. (Do you have a regular time for studying God’s Word? If “yes,” what difference has it made in your life?) This is the middle stage of a group’s development.
Deeply spiritual sharing questions provide the potential to move to peak communication, which fosters spiritual growth. Peak communication involves openness, transparency, and self disclosure (Has God become “real” to you? When?).
Purposely use these types of sharing questions to help move your group through levels of communication and achieve your goals of getting to know each other, bonding, and reaching people for Christ.
Sharing Question Examples
What do you like to do for fun?
What would be your ideal vacation?
What was the most memorable thing you did with your family?
What quality do you most appreciate in a friend?
How many children do you have?
Describe any special milestones that have occurred in your life?
Do you have a regular time for studying God’s Word?
If you were asked to define a “Christian,” what would you say?
Has God became “real” to you? When?
In What one area of your Christian walk would you most like to grow?
What help do you need to grow spiritually?
What have you done in which your Christian faith made a difference?
Have you been instrumental in the growth of another person? How?
1. Opening: Introduce Yourself.
2. Prayer: Have a moment of conversation, then pray for the group.
3. Sharing: What one personal relationship would you like to work on? Why? How?
Bible Study: “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us have turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).
4. What does this passage say to you?
5. What does this passage mean to you?
6. How does this passage apply to you?
7. Close-Tell one good thing God has done for you this week, then pray a prayer of thanks to God for the grace in your life. Use the conventional prayer format.
8. Simulate what you would do if people are afraid to reveal anything because of a gossip in the group?
9. What would you do if people will not be honest if they know only certain views are accepted, and because they fear rejection?
10. Simulate your action if people who have personal problems are not willing to talk about them because of lack of interest?
11. What action would you take if people will not contribute because a “expert” is present?
12. How would you handle a situation where people are at different levels of spiritual development and the study content is deep?
13. What do you want on your tombstone? Write your own obituary.
Take a piece of paper and list the things that you have to get done.
You need to stop doing things and remember that you lead your busy life in the presence of God. Prayer through the day is a way of developing a working together relationship with God. Work on thinking that you are working while God is standing next to you sharing a conversation with you.
BIO:Reuben “Uncle Bud” Robinson
Uncle Bud Robinson was born in a log cabin in the primitive
mountain region of Tennessee. When he was 16, his father
died, and his mother sold what little they had and moved to
Texas. After an unsuccessful endeavor as a sharecropper, Bud
hired out as a ranch hand. In August of 1880, during a camp
meeting, he felt deep conviction for his sin and received
Christ as his Saviour and was gloriously saved. That same
night, while lying under the wagon with his hat on a mesquite
stump for a pillow, the Lord called him to preach.
Although he had no education and stuttered so badly
that he could hardly tell his name, yet in the first year of
his ministry he saw about 300 conversions in his meetings. On
January 10, 1893, he married Miss Sallie Harper at
Georgetown, Texas. For two years he served the Hubbard cir-
cuit, but the remaining 60 years of his ministry were given
to evangelism. While lacking formal education, Uncle Bud had
a wisdom all of his own. It was an unusual insight into the
purpose for the redeemed man here on earth, a holy walk, day
His philosophy is seen in the following prayer he
prayed each morning: “O Lord, give me a backbone as big as a
sawlog, and ribs like sleepers under the church floor. Put
iron shoes on me and galvanized breeches, and hang a wagon-
load of determination in the gable end of my soul. And help
me to sign the contract to fight the devil as long as I have
a vision, and bit him as long as I have a tooth, and then gum
him till I die! Amen!”
During his long ministry, it is estimated that Uncle
Bud traveled over 2,000,000 miles, preached over 33,000 ser-
mons, witnessed more than 100,000 conversions, personally
gave more than $85,000.00 in helping young people with their
Christian education, secured over 53,000 subscriptions to his
church paper, The Herald of Holiness, and wrote 14 books and
sold more than 500,000 copies.
In spite of his handicaps and physical ailments,
speech impediment and lack of education, he made the Who’s
Who of California. From Boston to Los Angeles, thousands
thronged to hear him, charmed by his homespun wit and his
unique presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His life
was one of activity, and his will to his dying hour was to
serve his Lord. He went to be with the Lord on November 2,